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Embracing Disagreement

“If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody isn‘t thinking.”
George S. Patton

In my experience, it is our differences, not our sameness which unite us. I think it is vital for us to learn how to disagree with each other in ways that are simultaneously enthusiastic and respectful, passionate and sensitive.

When we can stand firmly in grounded commitment to our own unique voice and bring that together with openness to other, divergent points of view, disagreement can nourish and grow us.

By staying in the discourse, something new emerges which is much larger than the sum of two points of view. Far beyond a mere compromise, this adroit new approach is born from creative tension and carries previously unavailable possibilities.

I‘d love to see us all (and I include myself here) become more facile with disagreement. I notice, at least in the U.S., we tend to personalize disagreement and disagree with the PERSON, rather than the IDEA. Certainly, this has become a centralizing focus of partisan politics. The great tragedy of this is that it cuts our political leaders off from robust discourse on ideas and principles and instead, pulls the conversation to an immature level of name calling and personal attack.

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There are times when we need to move quickly and it is vital that those in charge step forward and chart a course they feel is best for the good of the whole. Still, deep listening and the ability to disagree are critical in creating alignment and shaping direction.

It can be challenging to simultaneously hold self respect and deep listening, to represent ourselves with commitment, and at the same time allow ourselves to be shaped and changed by input from the world around us.

It is my hope that this blog will be a place for stimulating and energizing conversation where we discuss ideas and concepts. A place where there is passionate disagreement and enthusiastic dialog. Please share your ideas by using the comments feature below. I look forward to hearing from you.
KKH

Designing Others
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  • 6 Responses to “Embracing Disagreement”

  • By bethfollini on Dec 14, 2009

    I very much agree with this – I find that I'm really stimulated when I enter into a robust discussion with someone – if they disagree with something I feel passionate about, it sharpens my thinking and helps me get clear about what I am so passionate about anyway. As you say, the struggle sometimes is not take things personally – so that I either project and attack or feel hurt and withdraw. It's about standing in a place of authenticness, courage and ability to be open to the other while also being able to speak your mind and have real authentic conversations!!!

  • By brendacorelis on Dec 14, 2009

    I agree completely. From my experiences I've found myself saying and feeling, “That was just the best disagreement (or argument)!” Seems like we need a new and better word for it, a word with less negativity. It is great to enter into a discussion to understand as well as to be understood, to respect the opposite position and receive respect, to be open for clarity, and to have the willingness toward changes in thinking – even within heated topics.

  • By bethfollini on Dec 14, 2009

    I very much agree with this – I find that I'm really stimulated when I enter into a robust discussion with someone – if they disagree with something I feel passionate about, it sharpens my thinking and helps me get clear about what I am so passionate about anyway. As you say, the struggle sometimes is not take things personally – so that I either project and attack or feel hurt and withdraw. It's about standing in a place of authenticness, courage and ability to be open to the other while also being able to speak your mind and have real authentic conversations!!!

  • By Brenda Corelis on Dec 14, 2009

    I agree completely. From my experiences I've found myself saying and feeling, “That was just the best disagreement (or argument)!” Seems like we need a new and better word for it, a word with less negativity. It is great to enter into a discussion to understand as well as to be understood, to respect the opposite position and receive respect, to be open for clarity, and to have the willingness toward changes in thinking – even within heated topics.

  • By bethfollini on Dec 14, 2009

    I very much agree with this – I find that I'm really stimulated when I enter into a robust discussion with someone – if they disagree with something I feel passionate about, it sharpens my thinking and helps me get clear about what I am so passionate about anyway. As you say, the struggle sometimes is not take things personally – so that I either project and attack or feel hurt and withdraw. It's about standing in a place of authenticness, courage and ability to be open to the other while also being able to speak your mind and have real authentic conversations!!!

  • By Brenda Corelis on Dec 14, 2009

    I agree completely. From my experiences I've found myself saying and feeling, “That was just the best disagreement (or argument)!” Seems like we need a new and better word for it, a word with less negativity. It is great to enter into a discussion to understand as well as to be understood, to respect the opposite position and receive respect, to be open for clarity, and to have the willingness toward changes in thinking – even within heated topics.

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